Harry Houdini on that motivating inner voice

“I want to be first. I vehemently want to be first. First in my profession…For that I give all the thought, all the power, that is in me. To stand at the head of my rank: it is all I ask. When I can no longer, good-bye the joy of life for me!”

“So I have struggled and fought. I have done and abstained; I have tortured my body and risked my life, only for that- to have one plank on the stage where they must fall back and cry ‘Master!’..”

“You will think I am vain to tell you these things; but I am a Magyar, and Magyars are vain. American born, Magyar descended; my parents came from Austria; my father was a clergyman in Wisconsin. My name, Ehrich Weiss; my height, about 5 ft 7 in; weight, about 12 stone; 36 this month of April. Only 36, but I feel old; I have done too much in order to be, in my poor little way, Columbus.”

“I am strong, as you see; strong in flesh, but my will has been stronger than my flesh. I have struggled with iron and steel, with locks and chains; I have burned, drowned, and frozen till my body has become almost insensible to pain; I have done things which rightly I could not do, because I said to myself, ‘You must’; and now I am old at 36. A man is only a man, and the flesh revenges itself.”

quoted from “The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero” by William Kalush and Larry Sloman


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